While it is possible to make bagels at home, to get that brown, crunchy crust like store-bought bagels, you need lye. Yes, that corrosive poison used to clean ovens and open clogged drains. Don’t forget the hazmat suit! Or, you can bake some baking soda at 250 -300 degrees for about an hour.
The change in chemical composition gets you close to lye without all the worry about poisoning yourself or your loved ones. It’s still strong enough to be irritating, so make sure not to spill any on yourself.